"Whangdepootenawah" is the Ojibway word for "disaster." The word was popularized by The Devil's Dictionary
, Ambrose Bierce's satirical reference book published in 1911. In our interview with Jet bassist and songwriter, Martin Gordon
, he revealed this was his favorite song by the band even though the lyrics are directly copied from Bierce's lexicon.
Said Gordon: "My favorite Jet tune is probably 'Whangdepootenawah,' written by drummer Chris Townson and singer Andy Ellison and myself, but also written by Ambrose Bierce, I (very much later) discovered. Chris and Andy presented me with a set of very witty words, which I set to music. Imagine my surprise, years later, when I found the selfsame words in The Devil's Dictionary
. Mssrs Ellison and Townson had inexplicably forgotten to tell me that they had stolen them. That explained it all."